ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned of heavy rainfall in several regions of the country in the next 48 hours and flooding in at least three major rivers.
In its latest projection for the next 48 hours on Saturday night, the NDMA said that severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall could hit northern and northeastern Punjab, including Lahore, Sialkot and Narowal regions. It warned of flooding in the Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej rivers and their associated channels. It said that rains could cause urban flooding in cities and land sliding in hilly areas.
The NDMA said, “Sindh (Karachi, Tharparkar, Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad) is likely to experience thunderstorms/hvy rainfall.” It added that thunderstorms and rainfall were also expected in parts of the southwestern Balochistan province.
Keeping in view the latest rain and flood projections, the NDMA directed the district and city administrations across the country “to ensure contingency traffic plans for areas vulnerable to flooding in urban centers, catering for prompt de-watering operations in flooded underpasses”.
It said, “Rescue Services & leading NGOs will ensure availability of personnel in the indicated areas. All stakeholders will maintain proactive coordination in order to ensure prompt & streamlined response.”
Monsoon rains have been lashing Pakistan for the last two weeks, causing deaths, flooding roads and disrupting lives in areas where residents are already struggling to recover from the last year’s floods, which affected 33 million people and killed 1,739. More than 55 people, including at least eight children, have died in weather-related incidents in Pakistan in two weeks.
Monsoon rains have returned to Pakistan a year after a climate-induced downpour swelled rivers and inundated at one point one-third of Pakistan. Rains and the ensuing flooding caused a $30 billion damage to cash-strapped Pakistan in 2022. In Pakistan, the monsoon season officially started last week and will continue until September.